ALLY McCOIST has branded Charles Green an unwanted “sideshow” for Rangers and criticised the timing of the controversial Yorkshire businessman’s latest proposed level of involvement with the Ibrox club.
After watching his team suffer a 2-1 defeat at home to Hearts in the first match of their Championship campaign, Rangers manager McCoist was quizzed about Green’s claim he is fronting a £10 million investment in the club backed by American businessman George Soros.
Former chief executive Green revealed the plan two days before Rangers faced Hearts in a much-anticipated fixture before which the Govan Stand at Ibrox was renamed after club legend Sandy Jardine who died from cancer in April at the age of 65.
McCoist, who 12 months ago branded Green an “embarrassment” for claiming he should win a league and cup double on the eve of Rangers’ shock 2-1 League Cup defeat at Forfar, believes such off-the-field issues are now filtering through to his dressing room.
“Whether he (Green) comes back or not, we don’t know,” said a clearly irked McCoist. “It remains to be seen. But I thought the timing of it, again, wasn’t great. It was a big day for the players and supporters, an even bigger day for Sandy Jardine’s family.
“For the first time, one or two of the players actually mentioned to me about the timing of it and all that kind of stuff.
“Everyone does their level best to keep players sheltered away from it and we will continue to do that, because the only thing they can have a bearing on is results on the park and that’s what they have to concentrate on. But sometimes it is just a little bit of a sideshow we can do without.”
Asked if he felt Green’s public pronouncements were now generally taken with a pinch of salt, McCoist replied: “I think that’s pretty fair, yeah”
When then asked if he would be able to work with Green again, McCoist said: “I don’t know. We’ll have to have a look at that. We don’t know what’s happening.”
McCoist’s more immediate concerns surround the manner in which his team conceded both goals to Hearts. After falling behind to Danny Wilson’s 53rd-minute header, Rangers equalised in the first minute of stoppage time through Nicky Law only to fall behind again immediately when Osman Sow netted Hearts’ winner.
That goal came just after McCoist had replaced the injured Richard Foster with Darren McGregor, the substitute unable to take up his position in time to halt the move.
“A couple of things disappointed me,” said McCoist. “Stating the obvious, the result is the biggest disappointment. But I felt the two goals we lost were extremely poor, along with our failure to take the chances which would have made life a whole lot easier for us.
“The second goal was really, really poor defending. We completely switch off and they play a ball into the right-back area, he takes a touch and plays the ball between our two centre-backs. When we get the equaliser, we are looking for a really positive reaction for the last five minutes to go and win the game. It just floored everybody.
“Hearts saw a gap because Richard Foster had to come off injured. Darren McGregor went on and wasn’t in his position quick enough.
“I’ll need to look at it again, because I’m not sure he was actually on the park quick enough for Hearts to take centre. But if not, we should have stopped the game and not let them take centre until we had regrouped into our positions. Darren definitely wasn’t in position when they took centre.
“I’m not saying for a minute that’s his fault, because he was just going on with Foster coming off struggling. I also thought there might have been a foul on Lee Wallace for the first goal, I thought it was a shove on his back before the corner. That would be a bigger gripe.”
It was a frustrating afternoon for the re-united Rangers strike pairing of Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd, with the former critical of the level of service they received.
“We need to create more,” said Miller. “We are at home at Ibrox and we have to be creating more chances. We’ve got the SPL’s all-time top goalscorer in Kris Boyd and I don’t think he had a chance today. That’s not good enough. He is the guy who will probably get the majority of our goals, so it’s something we have to look at.
“We knew it was going to be a long, hard, challenging season and obviously on today’s evidence there is still a lot of work to be done.”